x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Etihad secures cash for superjumbos

The airline has agreed to financing facilities worth US$212 million to pay for two Airbus A340-600 wide-body aircraft.

DUBAI // Etihad Airways has agreed financing facilities worth US$212 million (Dh778mn) to pay for two Airbus A340-600 wide-body aircraft to add to its fleet, the airline said today. The Abu Dhabi-based airline has signed a $102m facility with a consortium of regional and international banks to pay for one of the 288-seat aircraft. That 12-year financing lease was led by co-arrangers and lenders Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe.

The airline also mandated Al Hilal Bank, a new Islamic bank based in Abu Dhabi, to raise a further $110m million and provide a 12-year finance lease for the other plane. Etihad took possession of one of the aircraft in October and the second is due to be delivered next month. The deal comes as profit and financing pressures mount on airlines due to the global slowdown. Gulf-based airlines have managed to avoid some of the pressure as economic growth in the region, though slowing, continues to outpace growth elsewhere.

The Etihad fleet comprises 39 aircraft and will grow to 42 by the end of the year, with the delivery of the last Airbus A340-600 aircraft in December, the company said. *Reuters